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Review: Amazon Flex delivery jobs

Amazon Flex driver
Amazon, already trying to keep up with a surge in online orders, depends on the willingness of tens of thousands of contract drivers to show up each day. Above, Amazon Flex driver Arielle McCain delivers packages in Cambridge, Mass., in 2018.
(Pat Greenhouse / Boston Globe)

What: Amazon Flex hires drivers to deliver packages for the nation’s largest online retailer, paying a minimum of $15 per hour

Expected pay: $15 to $25 per hour

Husl $core: $$$$ (scale of 5)

Where: Major U.S. cities

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Requirements:

  • Must be 21 or older.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance.
  • Must own mid-size sedan or larger car or truck with an enclosed bed.
  • Must have a smartphone.
  • Must pass a background check.

Amazon Flex offers one of the few delivery jobs that can allow you to earn more than minimum wage, usually even after accounting for gas and wear and tear on your car. The online retailer “contributes” $15 to $19 to driver pay for each hour the driver works. However, some of its pay expectations are built around tips, which the site estimates based on average tips paid for similar blocks of business.

Amazon Flex drivers are presented with time “blocks” that they can accept or ignore. For instance, the company may offer a two-hour block, paying $36 to $50. The minimum you can earn if you take this block is $36. However, if you receive tips, you could get more. Drivers get 100% of their tips.

The catch: Each block contains a set number of deliveries that Amazon believes can be completed within the time frame. But if your block takes more time, the company doesn’t pay you more.

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Amazon pays drivers twice a week, which is helpful for those who need to earn money fast.

That said, all driver experiences are not alike. Some complain about getting delivery blocks that are an hour or more from the warehouse — or that require delivering via a toll-road. You don’t get paid extra for the additional gas or costs. If you can’t deliver some of the packages in your block, you have to bring them back to the warehouse, which could be out of your way and doesn’t count as part of the time for which you are paid.

Like many other flexible jobs, there is no guarantee of how many hours you will get to work, either.

What the drivers have to say:

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“The app makes three to four-hour delivery blocks available. If there are any blocks available, you pick up the packages [at] a local warehouse, where a warehouse worker places three to four hours’ worth of packages in front of you. You scan them and put them in your vehicle. The app will open a GPS to your first delivery location. Most of the deliveries will be in the same area. They pay by direct deposit in two to three business days.”

“This is NOT a reliable source of income. I was using this in between jobs. I had [a] 100% reliability rating and worked hard every day two to four-hour blocks a day (40 hours per week). All of a sudden, I stopped getting blocks everyday. Then I would get maybe one here or there. So I went from being able to support my family to fearing the bills coming up!”

“A while back someone posted ‘why do you hate apartments so much?’... today was the answer to that question. I had 11 packages in one complex. The buildings are not well labeled so good luck finding the apartments. I got seven delivered up and down three flights of stairs and took the rest to the leasing office where a worker berated me about being a ‘liar’ for not attempting delivery first.”

Comments are drawn from various online sources, edited for space and content.

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Other recommendations:

If you’re strong enough to help people move, consider Truxx (Husl $core: $$$$) UShip (Husl $core: $$$$), CitizenShipper (Husl $core: $$$$) and Dolly (Husl $core: $$$$)

For side hustles that require fewer expenses, check out Random Side Hustles that Anyone Can Do.

If you like animals, consider signing up with Rover. You set your own rates for both watching and walking dogs, which allows many side hustlers to earn upwards of $30 per hour, with minimal costs.

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Kathy Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.


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